Dry Cabin Journey No.1

I know that I will find a way to adapt–whether that turns out to be thriving in this lifestyle, or not being able to, I won’t know until I try.

My daughter (nearly 9) and I (nearly 30) have been living in downtown Whitehorse for 8 months. We drove 6500KM to relocate here from Muskoka, Ontario where I had lived for over half my life. Muskoka is beautiful; it had most of the things I desired, but some crucial ones I no longer could live without. Mountains, most importantly.

If you’ve read any of my previous blog posts, you know how inherent this love exists in me. It is, as Rick Bass would describe, what makes my “days soar like a hawk in the summertime”. Similar to John Muir, the Mountains had been calling, for many, many years, and I had to go.

Descending Robert Service Way into Whitehorse, I felt spoiled by the land, the mountainscapes that envelop this city like hands carefully cupping water. In awe, I thought this landscape so precious that, I feared it. I feared this feeling could fade. I had what I wanted, I had these Mountains–would this prove, like most desires, to be forgotten and replaced as soon as it was obtained?

No, I think not. This is my Great love. That love that comes [perhaps] but once a lifetime. There is not a single hour that passes in a day that I am not humbled, or wholly wonderstruck by these Mountains. I am discursive with many pursuits, but the Mountains is not one of these. If I am steadfast in one thing in my whole life, let it be my love for these ancient landforms.

But I did not move across the country to settle into domesticity downtown. To be so close to the wild, and not of it. I did not come for electricity, heat and water to be had with the flick of a switch. I came to understand my self in harmony with this Earth and it’s valuable resources, a longing I’ve never, in all my life, been able to remove myself from. I have, since I was 5, romanticized living among the trees. This August, I will have made 30 revolutions around the sun, and I did not want to wait another year, another month, another day–for the life I have always longed for.

And so, we are moving! Again! Thankfully, not far this time, only 25 minutes from where we currently live. The road itself is only 5 minutes from town, but we are deep down this winding dirt road, near the base of my favourite mountains, tucked away among the tall pines, our little one room cabin.

In the last month I’ve sold nearly all of my belongings. 15 years of collecting -things-, these things becoming stories of my life, and now I’ve let all those stories all go. In a society that teaches us that life is stockpiling -stuff-, it feels like I’m a dog, swimming against the current here. And that current is a powerful force to be up against. I find myself questioning how strong a swimmer I am.

Can I really do this? Can I live in a room no bigger that 13×13 feet with a nearly pubescent small human? Where will I get the wood to stock my stove? How will I light our cabin in the long, very dark months of Yukon’s winter? Am I -really- ready to give up convenient showering? Laundry? I don’t know… but I’m ready to find out.

And so, in addition to my mountain/nature wandering posts, I’ll be sharing this Dry Cabin Journey with you. I look forward to stumbling and learning to be a more self-sufficient human and what that looks as a single parent, what it feels like as an empathetic, introverted intellectual.

I have no idea what I’m doing, or what I’m getting myself into, but gosh dang it, I’m going to [try and] figure it out! As Bilbo Baggins would say,


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